Ramen

As I kid I remember LOVING ramen noodles. OBVIOUSLY not a smart healthy choice though.  At my local co-op I noticed packages of millet and brown rice noodles, similar to “oodles of noodles,” and grabbed a few. But I didn’t want to use the provided seasoning package because I wanted to make an even healthier version. One where I could control what goes in it.

The base of the bouillon powder is nutritional yeast which is a complete protein and many types are fortified with vitamin b12. I added in several different seasonings and spices, playing around with it until it came out just right.

That’s the bouillon. What about the soup? Which really couldn’t be more easy. I promise!

Green onions – did you know that green onions are great for your eyesight? It has vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which play a key role in  healthy vision. Green onions are great for your bones, too, thanks to its vitamin C and K. Vitamin C helps you synthesize the collagen that keeps your bones strong, while vitamin K helps your body utilize the calcium it needs to maintain bone density.

Carrots – everyone knows they are a carotenoid powerhouse. What is the big deal with carotenoids? One word – antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals. Free radicals cause damage which can lead to cancer. Please pass the carrots!

Spinach – high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Wow!! Guess that’s why they say, “If it’s green it’s good!” Just ask my kids, if I can add something green to anything, I will.

Let’s make soup!

It is a 2 step process. First you’ll want to make your bouillon powder because you’ll need it to assemble your soup.

Bouillon Powder

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried sage

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric

Soup

4-5 “nests” of ramen (I used Lotus brand millet and brown rice noodles) – flavor packet discarded

3/4 cups shredded carrots (I usually chop mine in the food processor)

4 tsp coconut aminos

1/4 cup bouillon powder

3/4 cup chopped scallions

2 cups chopped spinach

2 32oz. containers of vegetable broth

  1. First make the bouillon powder by mixing all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  It will make more than you need for one pot of soup so I store leftovers in a mason jar.
  2. Next, add your nests, carrots, coconut aminos, bouillon powder, chopped spinach, and scallions to vegetable broth in large pot and cook until noodles are done. About 8 minutes. That’s it!

Vegan Mac & Cheese

After deciding to go dairy-free one thing my kids missed was mac and cheese. I had a homemade version I made that they LOVED but trying to replicate that (or even come remotely close) was a challenge. Let’s face it, there is no substitute for cheese! This recipe completely satisfies that craving for us and our taste buds couldn’t be happier. The pleasure of a creamy mac & cheese without all the negative side effects of dairy! Win-win!!

1 pound gluten free elbow macaroni

1/3 cup brown rice flour

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp sea salt

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Then add the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and sea salt to the sauce pan whisking frequently. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  3. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat evenly.

Gluten Free Vegan Zucchini Bread

So moist, so sweet, so delicious….and it’s vegan! The optional chocolate chips added in just take it over the edge.

2 tbsp flax or chia seed

6 tbsp water

1 1/2 cups of brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3 cups finely grated zucchini

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

handful of dairy/soy/nut free chocolate chips (optional)

  1. In a small bowl mix your ground flax or chia seed with the water and set aside. This will act as your “egg” to bind everything. After a few minutes this mixture will get gelatinous.
  2. In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients together.
  3. Add to the large bowl zucchini, vanilla, applesauce and the flax/chia mixture. Mix well! It will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips if you choose to use them.
  4. Pour batter into 2 prepared loaf pans and bake at 325F for 45-60 minutes.

Vegan Cashew Caeser Salad Dressing

As a plant-based eater I really prefer to steer clear of dairy foods. But I LOVE caeser salad, mostly because of the caeser dressing! I didn’t want to give up my caeser salad so I make my own dressing that completely satisfies my taste buds. Add some of my homemade croutons on top and you have a real winner!

1/2 cup unsalted cashews (if you do not have a high powered blender you’ll want to soak them in water overnight before blending)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

4 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp capers

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup water (if you soaked the cashews then about 1/4 of water)

  1. Add all ingredients to your blender and give it a whirl! Blend until creamy.
  • If you aren’t using it right away then store it in an airtight container. It will last in the fridge for about a week.

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Garlicky Croutons

These crunchy garlicky croutons are a MUCH better alternative to the store bought variety. Have you read the ingredient list on those lately?? I used my homemade bread and natural ingredients to make these gems and you’re sure to love them just as much as I do.

5 cups of bread cut into cubes

4 tbsp of vegan butter (or 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. An infused olive oil is a GREAT addition to meet your taste needs)

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the butter/oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper until melted. Set aside and let the flavors infuse while you chop your bread.
  2. Drizzle seasoned butter/oil over your bread cubes and mix until there is an even coating on the cubes.
  3. Spread bread on baking sheet at bake at 375F for 18-20 minutes.

Flourless Chocolate PB muffins

Since these muffins have no flour they are incredibly light, fluffy and springy muffins that are SURE to please! Bonus?? They are very quick and easy to make!

1 large ripe banana

1 chia egg

1/2 cup of your choice nut butter

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp maple syrup (can substitute coconut palm sugar, honey or even stevia)

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt (Himalayan pink sea salt is my FAV!)

mini chocolate chips (I use a dairy free brand or chop up a bar of fair trade dark chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare mini muffin pan by greasing it with coconut oil.
  2. In your BLENDER add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Blend until creamy (about a minute).
  3. Add a heaping 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and stir by hand.
  4. Using a small spoon or scoop, drop into prepared muffin tin about 3/4 full.
  5. Drop a sprinkle of a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
  6. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the tops are set and spongy and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.